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Guangzhou BRT
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We help to visualize and select project options, and to plan, design and implement successful BRT & urban transport measures while avoiding the pitfalls.

Far East Mobility's multi-disciplinary team of staff and associated experts - including experts from the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute - led the planning, design, and implementation of the two 'gold standard' BRT systems in Asia: the world's second-highest capacity BRT system in Guangzhou, as well as the award-winning Yichang BRT.

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Our sustainable transport focus areas and capability

  1. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors

    BRT done well offers the potential of metro-like levels of capacity, passenger service and speed at a fraction of the cost of metro systems. BRT also has a much faster implementation time frame and can rapidly provide a citywide reach, since BRT buses can enter and leave a BRT corridor. BRT done poorly provides none of these benefits. Planning, design, implementation and operation of high capacity BRT systems providing citywide benefits, starting with a BRT Concept Design, Pre-Feasibility Study and/or Feasibility Study, is a core focus area of Far East Mobility. Far East's consultants can provide crucial guidance to cities and agencies on BRT systems and corridors, from the Concept Design stages through to preliminary design, technical supervision and input during the engineering design, construction, and operation. This guidance includes practical advice on the steps cities and agencies should take at each stage of the project to ensure a successful outcome and avoid the various potential BRT project minefields.

    Areas of Far East Mobility expertise include surveys and data collection, corridor selection, intersections, stations (location, dimensions, configuration, architecture, ITS integration, renderings, access), operational design and optimization, demand analysis, detailed cost estimation, institutions and regulation, ITS components, traffic impact analysis, modal integration, communications and outreach, technical supervision during engineering design and construction, inventory and strategy (and costings) for dealing with urban utilities in the corridor, capacity building in all of these areas, and other aspects.

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  2. Traffic management

    Traffic surveys, simulations, impact analysis, circulation and management are all issues requiring attention as part of BRT projects. Microsimulations can help to test and verify solutions as well as explain project impacts - especially major projects such as BRT systems - to decision-makers and stakeholders. In some cases a 'full BRT' approach may not be viable or desired, with traffic management approaches to bus priority preferred. Often, the same corridor will involve a combination of traffic management and 'full BRT' measures in different locations.

  3. Transit-oriented development (TOD)

    BRT systems are a major investment and cities should maximize returns by encouraging high quality station area development in line with international best practices. Special zones should be set up around BRT stations, regulating issues such as pedestrian & bicycle facilities, parking provision in new developments, on-street & setback parking, affordable housing and other approaches that can be 'trialled' first in BRT station areas before being rolled out citywide. Far East Mobility has developed TOD plans for several BRT corridors, including identifying zoning and regulatory impediments to best practice TOD implementation around mass transit station areas.

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  4. Parking & TDM

    Parking projects almost always include surveys and data collection and documentation of best practices, with analysis and recommendations on definition of zones, setting standards for parking provision for new developments, preparation of tender documents, setback parking management, parking pricing, communications, technology, roadway design, enforcement, and other aspects. Far East Mobility developed a detailed parking plan for central Yangon as part of a Bus Priority Feasibility Study in Yangon in 2018, and has worked on parking in several other cities, usually in relation to a BRT corridor project.

  5. Non-motorized transport (NMT)

    The planning, design, implementation, and operation/management of pedestrian and bicycle facilities is important in any city, and is an area of intense attention by cities and agencies in almost all BRT projects. Measures that can be taken to improve bike and pedestrian facilities include bike sharing, greenways, and high quality urban bike networks. 'Complete streets' or road designs to enhance vibrancy and appeal, prioritizing cyclists & pedestrians, are an excellent way to improve BRT corridor access and promote station area development. Some of the issues relating to ensuring high quality NMT facilities with BRT are discussed in our Ji'an case study. In our experience, if excellent NMT facilities are to be implemented together with BRT, it cannot be done as an afterthought. NMT planning needs to be done in the early design stages so that it can be incorporated into designs, and needs to be supervised to ensure implementation in line with designs. All NMT improvement projects involve a wide range of implementation-oriented surveys and data collection; a process carried out by Far East Mobility in many cities.

  6. Road safety

    Road safety is an important consideration in BRT planning and in sustainable transport planning generally. All transit passengers are pedestrians at the start and end of their trips, and road, intersection and transit system design all have major potential impacts on pedestrian and bicycle safety. One useful measure which can be carried out independently or as part of a wider transit or road project is a Road Safety Audit.

  7. Site visits & training

    Nothing will convince a city's leaders of the benefits, as well as the potential pitfalls and preferred approaches to BRT, as a site visit to BRT systems such as Bogota, Cali, Brisbane, Guangzhou, Yichang or Nanning. Technical personnel also benefit immensely from such visits. Far East Mobility can conduct site visit and training programs on BRT and sustainable transport, focusing on the Guangzhou and Yichang BRT systems.

    Learn more…
Selected Far East Mobility project or study cities. Involvement in Manila, Vientiane, Yichang and Lanzhou occurred before Far East Mobility was formally incorporated.
Interesting news & links
The Secret to Year-Round Streeteries? What Greenhouses Can Teach Us
Outdoor eating rather than parking, configurable according to weather conditions.
Curbed, 06.10.2020
New emergency contracts spell the end of Britain’s franchising system
After 24 years, the rail franchising system in Britain is killed off by the Department for Transport, implicitly acknowledging the failure of this approach.
International Railway Journal, 22.09.2020
Electric car warning signals as Denmark calculates cost of switch
Switches to electric cars are causing countries to consider how to plug the resulting holes in finances caused by the loss of fuel excises. The article does not clearly define the issues (referring only to car and vehicle taxes) but the coming decline in fuel excise revenue associated with a switch to electric vehicles is an issue in many countries.
Reuters, 07.09.2020
Why London’s Underground is in better post-pandemic shape than NYC’s subways
Coordination, through TFL. Leadership. Funding.
New York Post, 07.09.2020
The Broken Algorithm That Poisoned American Transportation
"Perhaps the most useful thing the model does is obscure that debate behind a veil of scientific certainty. Behind hard, solid numbers. “From the standpoint of a citizen, these numbers essentially come out of a black box,” he said. “You don’t have any idea how they generated these numbers, so you can’t begin to critique them.” In other words, the model shuts people up. It may not be honest, but in the world of transportation politics, there’s nothing more valuable than that."
Vice, 24.08.2020
Rotterdam Offers Free Parklets to Help Local Businesses Turn Parking Spots Into Terraces
Rotterdam municipality is helping local businesses to reopen by offering free decking to create an outdoor terraced area to carry out business activities in a safe space.
Popupcity, 06.08.2020
China approves $US 68bn inter-city plan for Pearl River Delta
Massive railway expansion approved, much of it centred on Guangzhou.
International Railway Journal, 04.08.2020
We’ll Build Thousands Of Miles Of Protected Cycleways, Pledges Boris Johnson
“Schemes which consist mainly of paint, which make pedestrians and cyclists share the same space, or which do not make meaningful change to the status quo on the road, will not be funded.”
Forbes, 27.07.2020
Government moves to end minimum carpark requirements and remove low height-limits in bid to increase dense housing
"In all “tier 1” cities – Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Christchurch, and Hamilton - councils would not be able to set building height limits of less than six storeys in city centres. In all urban areas with more than 10,000 people, district plans will not be allowed to include minimum car parking requirements, other than for accessible carparks.", 23.07.2020
HCMC seeks to revive public buses with new operators
Useless measures straight out of a World Bank consultant study: just change the contracting form, adjusting the incentives, and all the problems will be solved....right? Meanwhile, the small matter of buses being stuck in congestion is not addressed.
VnExpress, 10.07.2020
COVID Mobility Works gathers best practices of Global Mobility Responses to COVID-19
A platform "devoted to collecting, compiling, and sharing mobility initiatives that are keeping the world moving during the COVID-19 pandemic", with breakdowns by topic and mode. Quality is patchy but with some useful nuggets.
Covid Mobility Works, 06.07.2020
World Bank funding for a combination median bus lane and kerbside bus lane project in Harbin. It is designed to be 'upgradeable to BRT in the future', which raises the obvious question: why didn't they just do BRT now?
黑龙江日报报业集团, 19.06.2020